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LINEDATA SERVICES ANNOUNCES ITS INTENTION TO ACQUIRE ESDS, A FRENCH IT COMPANY SPECIALIZING IN RETIREMENT SAVINGS AND LIFE INSURANCE

An acquisition that will allow Linedata Services to markedly strengthen its Employee Savings activities

Linedata Services, a major player global player in financial IT services, and ESDS, one of the specialists in France in the field of personal and group insurance software, have announced the signing of a protocol agreement governing the acquisition, by Linedata Services, of the main assets of Europe Software & Data Systems (ESDS). The operation, which is to be primarily financed through the exchange of Linedata Services shares, is subject to industry regulations and is planned for Q4 2003.

The acquisition of ESDS, whose activities have developed around its proprietary Master A software solution, will enable Linedata Services to considerably strengthen its market share in Retirement Savings and Pensions in France whilst also affording it major inroads into the extremely buoyant Life Insurance segment.

As part of this operation, Linedata Services shall also acquire a billing software designed exclusively for Telecoms operators, and which accounted for 20% of ESDS activity in 2002.

A highly accretive acquisition …

With revenues of €12M forecast for 2003, today ESDS boasts 50 employees and over 30 customers in France, including leading institutions in the insurance sector (such as ACMN, AGF-Allianz, AIG, Fortis, MAIF, Socapi, Zurich Financial Services, etc). Moreover, the company's profitability ratios are already in line with those the Linedata Services group.

This decisive acquisition will markedly strengthen the activities of Linedata Services' Employee Savings, business which recorded revenues of €20M in 2002.

The operation will have an accretive effect as from 2004.

…. of strategical potential for the Group's development.

"In light of the recently adopted Fillon Law concerning the retirement reform, this acquisition will rank Linedata Services as a major player in private pensions - a market set to attract millions of employees in the next coming years. By consolidating our position in France, we will be ideally placed to offer a response to the needs of the main European markets that already boast funded private pension schemes," said Anvaraly Jiva, CEO of Linedata Services.

"We are delighted to join forces with a group that has an ambitious industrial strategy and whose offering clearly complements our own. Given Linedata Services' position as leader and established global presence, we are extremely optimistic as to a number of major projects that are currently in the pipeline with insurance companies across Europe that are looking to optimize their IT solutions," said Jack Hazout, Chief Executive of ESDS.

Linedata Services will publish its half-yearly results on September 23, 2003.